Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

West Coast Australia

Just a few minutes' paddle, swim or boat ride away from the shore 5km south of Rockingham is strictly protected Penguin Island, home to penguins, silver gulls, boardwalks, beaches and picnic tables. Apart from birdwatching (pied cormorants, pelicans, crested and bridled terns, oystercatchers), day visitors can also swim, paddle in the rock pools and snorkel.

It's free to wade the few hundred metres out to the island across the sandbar at low tide, but make sure you keep one eye on the sea – people have drowned here after being washed off the bar during strong winds and high tides. Otherwise, the Penguin Island Ferry can chug you out there and back: fares can include a penguin-feeding session at the Discovery Centre on the island, run by Rockingham Wild Encounters. Sea-kayaking tours with Capricorn Seakayaking explore the marine park in more depth.

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